Dyckia platyphylla L.B.Sm.
This species is endemic to the State of Bahia in eastern Brazil. This plant has reportedly never been found in its natural habitat, and there is speculation that it is a hybrid, maybe even involving Dyckia marnier-lapostollei and Dyckia brevifolia.
Dyckia platyphylla is an attractive terrestrial bromeliad that forms rosettes of narrowly triangular, glossy, deep green leaves covered in silvery scales beneath and with whitish teeth along the margins. The rosettes grow up to 8 inches (20 cm) tall, forming large clusters over time. Leaves are blush bronze to purple when the plant is grown in full sun. They are thick, fleshy, up to 9.2 inches (23 cm) long, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide. Flowers are yellow-orange, mostly suberect, and appear on up to 3 feet (90 cm) tall stalks from spring to summer.
USDA hardiness zones 9b to 11b: from 25 °F (−3.9 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Dyckias are not technically succulents, as they do not store water in their leaves like true succulents. They are xerographic and survive long periods without water by going dormant. Their rosette of thick, succulent leaves will eventually wilt, but recovery is rapid when watering is resumed.
Most of the plants survive in warm regions with heavy rainfall for half the year and very dry conditions the rest of the time. This makes Dyckia care slightly challenging, as getting the right balance of moisture to keep the plant happy may be difficult. The growing conditions in their natural setting should be mimicked as much as possible.
In their native region, it is not uncommon to find some forms growing on top of rocks near the water. Water and the cycle of the monsoon season are important features of Dyckia's health. They are used to rather poor soil when they grow in-ground and should be planted in a good succulent mixture.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Dyckia.
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